Jim Machi : Industry Insight
Jim Machi

We ask the experts: How can exceptional QoE be achieved in VoLTE networks?

By: Jean Jones, Director, Wireless Marketing, Alcatel-Lucent

What does voice over LTE (VoLTE) offer your subscribers? Better voice quality, including HD voice. Rich communications with messaging and video. And whatever inventive applications you choose to introduce. In other words, VoLTE can provide a superior quality of experience (QoE) for subscribers and give you a competitive edge — particularly when your service operates at its best. 

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In my last blog[CCE1] , our experts explained why an end-to-end strategy is the key to maintaining peak VoLTE performance. Now we’ll look at how this strategy gets put into practice to optimize real-world service offerings. The information here is based on interviews with Luis Venerio who works with our VoLTE Readiness Services team. And his observations come straight from his experience on VoLTE deployments that serve millions of subscribers.

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Wearable Tech Expo 2014 Kicking off in NYC

My team is at the Jacob Javits Center setting up for Wearable Tech Expo 2014 which will take place Wednesday and Thursday...

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When Does WebRTC Need a Media Server? Reason #7

Tsahi Levent-Levi’s white paper, “Seven Reasons for WebRTC Server-Side Processing,” details a variety of WebRTC-related scenarios that necessitate a media server....

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How signaling spikes affect networks: 3 real-world examples

By: Josee Loudiadis, Director of Network Intelligence, Alcatel-Lucent

Data and signaling growth are usually good news for network operators, since growth often translates into higher revenues. But when growth is averaged over a month or quarter, the daily highs and lows of network activity are smoothed out. And signaling spikes remain hidden within the averages. These spikes can overwhelm available signaling capacity, which impairs the customer experience, as well as the operator’s reputation.

What happens when a spike occurs? Typically, a CPU Overload alarm appears on various mobile nodes. And the Network Operations Center (NOC) immediately starts praying that the burst is short-lived and doesn’t go over maximum peak-rate capacity. Because when that happens, all consumers are denied service access. Then, the process of identifying the source of the problem begins. This can be arduous, because it often involves applications completely out of NOC control. And the issue can’t be resolved easily without solid network analytics that enables engagement with application and device developers.

That’s the reason signaling information is a crucial part of the Alcatel-Lucent Mobile Apps Rankings report and why LTE World 2014 devotes an entire pre-conference day to the topic. It’s also why this blog offers a closer look at how some real-world disruptive signaling spikes got started — and were finally resolved.

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The Expanding Channel Programs

Not only do I see more cloud service providers looking to the channel for sales, I see other channel programs expanding....

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When Does WebRTC Need a Media Server? Reason #6

In a recent blog about the current state of WebRTC, I mentioned that readers should check out an excellent white paper...

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The Six Degrees of Mobile Data Plan Innovation: It's Not All About Data- Mobile Voice and Messaging Share Plans Offer Plenty of Appeal

Alcatel-Lucent’s Rich Crowe continues the Six Degrees of Mobile Data Plan Innovation blog series by examining the degree to which consumers are interested in share plans that include unlimited voice and messaging but don’t include data.

The last Six Degrees blog explored consumer attitudes toward two different mobile share plan options: sharing data only and sharing voice, messaging and data. This blog will explore attitudes toward a 3rd option: sharing unlimited voice and messaging — but not data — across multiple devices or subscribers.

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Why are 2G and 3G Subscriptions Growing?

March 18, 2014

We all hear about LTE this, LTE that. That’s for good reason, given that LTE subscriber growth is expected to have a compound annual growth rate of more than 50 percent for years to come, which is driving a lot of device and infrastructure spending. Global LTE subscribers number in the hundreds of millions today, and by 2018 the subscriber base will have surpassed one billion subscribers. Those numbers are staggering and impressive, but they’re nothing compared to 2G and 3G.

MWC: Hypocrisy about NFV?

March 11, 2014

Two weeks ago, I wrote a blog about my initial thoughts on Mobile World Congress. Even today, I am still surprised by the lack of WebRTC messaging at MWC. But of the themes I talked about in that initial blog, NFV stood out as the week went on.  And I started asking myself some questions.

An SBC is not required for a WebRTC Gateway

March 4, 2014



A session border controller (SBC) is not required for a WebRTC gateway. That might be a strange statement considering most of the industry has assumed an SBC is necessary for successful WebRTC scenarios. Why would the industry make that mistake? Because an SBC is basically an IP-to-IP translation node, and the WebRTC and SIP worlds are both in the IP realm.



The Internet of Things and Other Major Themes from MWC 2014

February 25, 2014

Mobile World Congress is buzzing along. It is a mass of mobile communications humanity, all crisply dressed and swiftly moving along like a flash flood in an Arizona wash through both the Barcelona subway system and the venue at the Fira.

The 2014 Mobile World Congress theme is “Creating What’s Next.” That’s a good theme, but so far, I didn’t see anything unexpected in terms of “next.”

Overall themes I’ve seen on my first day of the event:

The Internet of Things and Other Major Themes from MWC 2014

February 25, 2014

Mobile World Congress is buzzing along. It is a mass of mobile communications humanity, all crisply dressed and swiftly moving along like a flash flood in an Arizona wash through both the Barcelona subway system and the venue at the Fira.

The 2014 Mobile World Congress theme is “Creating What’s Next.” That’s a good theme, but so far, I didn’t see anything unexpected in terms of “next.”

Overall themes I’ve seen on my first day of the event:

The Shazaam! of SS7 - SIP Signaling

February 18, 2014

We’ve been getting a lot of interest in signaling gateways, especially as they relate to SIP. A signaling gateway is similar to a media gateway in that a “conversion” occurs. In the case of a media gateway, there is some kind of voice or video media conversion, usually from one type of codec to another. And typically these involve a signaling conversion in addition to a media conversion.

Diameter, NFV and More Expected at MWC

February 11, 2014

Jim Hodges from Heavy Reading has come out with an interesting report about signaling (Diameter) in next-generation networks. In it, he makes the point that signaling is now front and center in supporting complex service interactions. Diameter signaling controllers (DSC) are rising in importance, and their parts -- including Diameter routing agents (DRA), Diameter edge agents (DEA) and Diameter interworking function (IWF) – are important nodes in the LTE/IMS networks.

Signaling has always supported certain mobile value-added services, and many Dialogic customers purchase both media and signaling from us, creating a litany of value-added service applications. With the faster networks using Diameter, namely LTE networks, we’re bound to see many more interesting applications emerge. 

Mobile Price Wars and Apps - Yes, Apps!

February 4, 2014

There’s been a lot of talk recently in the United States about mobile price wars, such as Quartz’s and Reuters’ reports on T-Mobile’s aggressive move to win over customers from AT&T and Verizon. If the combined voice/data average revenue price per user (ARPU) is dropping everywhere – as it is in Europe according to GSMA Intelligence research, and in the U.S., according to Chetan Sharma Consulting – where will service providers go for new revenue? Clearly a price war is one way to try and win new customers, and thus increase revenue, but it’s not going to increase the ever important ARPU.

What can service providers do?

Mobile and Voice App Update

January 28, 2014

Last week I wrote about chatty apps, which keep contacting the network for continual updates, so users won’t FREAK OUT because they don’t have the absolute latest info.  But what is the status of what is going on with mobile apps anyway?  Is the craze of downloading apps to your smartphone over?  Or do we have all the apps that we need?

Dealing with Chatty Apps

January 21, 2014

When I was at LTE North America, I ran into Monica Paolini of Senza Fili Consulting who had just published a report about chatty apps and mobile signaling.  The report outlines the financial impact of all the signaling from chatty apps because the chatty apps utilize the network and network capacity and could cause congestion. Therefore, the network might not be able to maximize the amount of subscribers, or the network might have to add more infrastructure to handle the traffic.  Either way, there are costs to the carrier.

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